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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Christopher Darby
In the midst of the excitement of buying or selling a home, few consumers want to take the time to read a lengthy document filled with legal terms that can be difficult to understand by someone without a law degree. In September 2006, the Realtor associations of the Washington area, including the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) and the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (GCAAR) introduced a new regional sales contract that simplifies the language of earlier contracts to make it easier to comprehend.
Christopher Darby, an attorney and director of the District's operations for Universal Settlements, says consumers need to understand that the sales contract is a legally binding contract, which means that both buyers and sellers need to be as informed as soon as possible, before an offer is made.
"The old contract was not intentionally ambiguous, but now there is not much room for misunderstanding," says Mr. Darby. "The contract can be slanted in favor of the buyer or the seller, but that requires agreement between the two sides. Fewer contingencies favor the seller, while more contingencies mean a contract is skewed to the buyer."